Ap­ple iphone 8 Plus No great leap for­ward over­all, but the cam­era is the best yet

The eighth won­der

Computer Active (UK) - - Contents -

Last year, the iphone 7 cost £60 more than the iphone 6s the year be­fore. This year’s iphone 8 is £100 more again. At least it comes with 64GB of stor­age as stan­dard, so you prob­a­bly won’t need to con­sider the higher-stor­age op­tion – now 256GB at an ex­tra £150. But to get Ap­ple’s best hard­ware fea­ture, the larger iphone 8 Plus’ dual cam­era, you’ll need big hands and £799, or about £60 a month on con­tract.

We tested the Plus, but the first thing to say of both new phones is that they’re not as dif­fer­ent from their pre­de­ces­sors as you might have hoped. Cos­met­i­cally, the 8 re­places the metal back with glass, and has lit­tle stripes on the sides, which curve in the same way as the 6 and 7, mak­ing this yet an­other new iphone that doesn’t feel par­tic­u­larly new. That’s be­cause the re­ally new stuff is in the iphone X, which won’t be here un­til Novem­ber, at £999!

The iphone 8 does have an even faster pro­ces­sor, the A11, so sea­sons won’t roll by while your favourite web­site loads. It comes in a dif­fer­ent range of colours, drop­ping the pop­u­lar Rose Gold (pink) in favour of plain Gold (beige). It’s still wa­ter-re­sis­tant but not im­mersible, has no head­phone socket (an adapter is pro­vided for Ap­ple’s dinky Light­ning port), and – un­like the X – re­tains a fin­ger­print reader in the Home but­ton.

One ma­jor ben­e­fit of the glass back is that this is the first iphone to sup­port wire­less charg­ing, via Qi (pro­nounced ‘chee’ and sup­ported by ac­ces­sory mak­ers in­clud­ing Ikea). A ma­jor draw­back of the glass back is that it’s glass – even if Ap­ple reck­ons it’s su­per strong. Dropped from a mod­est height byby peo­plepeo­ple on­line, the iphone 8’s back re­port­edly just smashes. Ap­ple’ap­ple’s cases ststartt at £3939.

As for the front, we found the 5.5in screen iden­ti­cal to its pre­de­ces­sor, which was ex­cel­lent but couldn’t quite match the deep blacks of Sam­sung’s AMOLED screens. The iphone X will have an AMOLED dis­play, but not the 8. Ap­ple does add True Tone, bor­rowed from the ipad Pro, which ad­justs colour bal­ance to com­pen­sate for am­bi­ent light. This works well and helps avoid tired eyes.

And so to the cam­eras. The iphone 7 Plus paired a con­ven­tional wide-an­gle 28mm lens with a 56mm tele­photo. The Cam­era app com­bines these to give a range of ‘zoom’ set­tings with no pixel­la­tion. In Por­trait mode, the two cam­eras com­bine to fake shal­low depth of field, nor­mally only avail­able in more ex­pen­sive full-size cam­eras. With new light­ing ef­fects in IOS 11, it’s ca­pa­ble of some strik­ingly pro­fes­sional-look­ing shots. Each lens now has op­ti­cal sta­bil­i­sa­tion, and both 12-megapixel stills and video look fan­tas­tic. In­dus­try ex­perts Dx­o­mark rate the iphone 8 Plus the best phone cam­era ever, over­tak­ing Google’s Pixel phone.

Does that all add up to a must-have iphone? If you al­ready have a 7 Plus, then no. If not, the iphone 8 Plus is a fan­tas­tic de­vice, but it costs as much as buy­ing an iphone SE and a Pana­sonic LX100 cam­era, which takes bet­ter pic­tures.

Is this a must-have phone? Not if you have a 7 Plus iphone

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